Today's the last day of our NYC Holiday Market. So come see us! »
🔕 🔔
Loading…

My Basket ()

All questions

I made the top round of a leg of lamb tonight...local meat purchased @ whole foods...Roasted it and all in all found it STINKY (i.e. super gamey). Not to my liking at all (i'm a lamb fan & a leg o lamb fan at that). Any ideas why some lamb is funkier then others? How can I prevent this from happening again?

asked by sixelagogo about 6 years ago
13 answers 4423 views
401c5804 f611 451f a157 c693981d8eef  mad cow deux
pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added about 6 years ago

Singing to the choir here, baby. That's happened to me too. It's because the lamb was more than likely shipped in from either New Zealand or Australia. You can buy a better, fresher domestic product if you ask before you purchase. A few weeks back I went to a local butcher (there are still some out there) to buy fresh lamb. I picked up two big pieces of locally farmed lamb shoulder. When I opened the package it smelled like LAMB. So ask where it's coming from.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 6 years ago

Lamb is best cooked by beef terms to "medium" -- if its cooked through it gets gamey. If you want to try again reduce the cooking time bit by bit until you get it right.
I like the other posters answer but "fresher" doesn't exist in the United States unless you have direct contact with a farmer. You can try local farmers markets for better lamb than you will get at a chain, and go for organic too. American meat standards allow for chemcial baths that might be part of the problem.

401c5804 f611 451f a157 c693981d8eef  mad cow deux
pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added about 6 years ago

The sad truth per Geepers comment, is that maybe up to 75% of the lamb sold in supermarkets in this country is farmed down in the antipodes, vac-packed and shipped over here. Hello, Costco! But there is a counter-revolution going on, we are just going to have to be patient. I'm fortunate in that I live in lamb country. I have in fact asked at Whole Foods, and got the answer "Australia". But it gets worse, your shrimp probably come from China. Always ask.

9e8295a2 d454 40e3 aedb 7101fabda076  eggandcress2
added about 6 years ago

Well, if it was local lamb like like you say, the whole shipping issue is moot. My guess is that a combination of over cooking and it being a sort of stinky lamb to begin with. I've noticed some farm's lamb can be kind of funky/extra gamey while other local lamb never is. Perhaps it has to do with their diet?

Fbc31129 dd77 4f50 92da 5ddc4a29c892  summer 2010 1048
added about 6 years ago

Maybe it has something to do with how old the lamb was when it was slaughtered? I would definitely let Whole Foods know the deal. They've been very accommodating when I've been unhappy with their meat in the past, i.e., replaced it. I think this is why my mom maintains that you should always make friends with your butcher.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 6 years ago

These are all decent answers, but I think I can offer a better one, with a scientific basis. Lamb varies a lot because sheep vary a lot. Some sheep are wool sheep; their natural lanolin is actually quite stinky, and that odor will permeate the flesh. Chances are you got a wool sheep. You want a sheep designed for milking and eating, like Katahdin. You'll be delighted at how little gaminess they have,
For more information on Katahdin, see here:
http://www.ansi.okstate...
I don't usually eat red meat but have found super Katahdin lamb through my Locally Grown network: http://locallygrown.net/
If you're not familiar with how Locally Grown works, I include an explanation here: http://ozarkhomesteader...

Finally, there's a chance that your supplier cheated and gave you a goat kid instead of lamb. I'm betting your average home chef wouldn't know the difference from appearance, but goat is extremely gamey.

401c5804 f611 451f a157 c693981d8eef  mad cow deux
pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added about 6 years ago

The odds on someone subbing goat for lamb are extremely thin. So thin, that I actually have to seek out places that do sell goat. I like it for Portugese cabrito or Mexican birria. But you already know that it's going to be gamey. If you want that...and sometimes I do.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 6 years ago

Pierino, I think whether one might try to substitute goat kid for lamb is a regional issue. You can find tons more goats here in Arkansas than sheep. Goats were such a big fad that you can now find them free on Freecycle.

That aside, I think the variety is the most likely problem, like I said first.

73cd846c b69c 41fe 8f8b 7a3aa8dd3b93  desert
added about 6 years ago

It's the the location where they were raised and what they eat. Also some packaging uses heat before cooling and can make the meat smell funky that can translate to ttheflavor. Nothing else that's it!

E0cc9d5c 6544 49fb b0e4 5c150d9ac0f7  imag0055
added about 6 years ago

I doubt it was what the lamb grazed on or even the cooking or breed of animal. If it was locally raised lamb intended for meat (and not older lamb, aka mutton, another possibility), the problem may not be the producer but the slaughtering facility that killed, chilled, cut, and packaged the lamb. Most producers do not do their own slaughtering (we raise beef, chickens, and ducks, but we don't butcher them ourselves). If Whole Foods sold it, it would have to have been a USDA inspected facility, but that certainly doesn't mean no errors could occur. There aren't enough inspectors to go around, as all the food scares have illustrated. I'd let Whole Foods know and I'd hope they'd let the producer know.

73cd846c b69c 41fe 8f8b 7a3aa8dd3b93  desert
added about 6 years ago

@mainecook61, What an animal grazed on can effect the flavor ( ever have grass fed beef) Although you list yourself an experienced farmer your admission of ignorance by giving your answer is astounding.

07c808b7 76a9 4752 ae1f cfa66c1e1a1b  img 3447
added about 6 years ago

Some more info:
I cooked the lamb to 135 and let it rest till the internal temp came up to 140-142...it was medium rare on the inside

I choose the "local" lamb over new zealand, as I assumed it would be fresher

I did contact whole foods, but have not received an answer yet

70a78f0d 8ab1 412b ba57 b21f44c4df97  face of world food
added about 6 years ago

I grew up on a farm, and we raised several sheep for wool. They were pasture raised and we butchered and processed the meat on the farm. The lamb always smelled and tasted funky to me! To this day I can't stand lamb. I had no idea that there was another option out there. Thanks for this Q&A, perhaps I'll give it another go.